What are you reading now?


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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:26 pm

I had never heard of the Parker series until a blurb in the Entertainment section of the paper this morning touting the move.
Now I will have to add them to my Clancy, Ludlum, Cavell, LeCarre, Forsyth, etc collection.
Different and sundy genre but I think I have every Michner book, except the Japanese print book. His writing deteriorated in his last books, imo, but, in his early books, he was uncannily accurate in his assessment of the future for SE Aisa .
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:51 pm

On kuha's word, I just ordered a Parker book for my kindle. Will try it out.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby KDFINE » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:03 pm

Last Sunday's N.Y. Times had an article about Jason Straithan and his latest movie, "Parker." I'm a big fan of Donald Westlake's Dortmunder novels, and picked up "The Outfit", a Parker novel by Westlake under his other pen name, Richard Stark. I prefer the Dortmunder novels but this is O.K.
A fellow I know works in the publishing industry in Manhattan. He was in the elevator at work, and Ed McBain walked in. The guy looked at McBain and said to him, "you know you look like two of my favorite authors."
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:20 pm

Has anyone read The Wisdom of Psychopaths? Heard about it and it sounds interesting.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby spammer » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:04 pm

Michael Johnson's Gold Rush
Running with Kenyans
The Lopes Lomong (US 5000m runner) autobiography
Born to Run (about Tarahumara Indians)
Usain Bolt's autobiography (this is surprisingly the best one)
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:13 am

spammer wrote:Michael Johnson's Gold Rush
Running with Kenyans
The Lopes Lomong (US 5000m runner) autobiography
Born to Run (about Tarahumara Indians)
Usain Bolt's autobiography (this is surprisingly the best one)


Better than Born to Run? I thought that book was great.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:02 am

I never knew, until now, that the first Parker film was John Boorman's excellent Point Blank from 1967, with Lee Marvin as the Parker character, though not under that name.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:53 am

From the T&FN Favourite Olympic Moment Poll Results. More 2 Votes thread
John G wrote:
nevetsllim wrote:Mump - Sonia vs. Szabo (one of mine) was included in the one-vote list or is this a revised result?


I had this one as well. Sometimes, 5000m can seem a very long way - and it did that night for Sonia. She was really struggling at times and IIRC was even dropped from the leading group on one occasion. You could see her physically grow in confidence however as it entered 'her territory' with a couple of laps to go and in the end she was oh, so near.

Incidentally, her autobiography is the best I've read by a runner in quite some time.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby jeremyp » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:11 am

I'm reading "A Safeway in Arizona" about the Gabby Giffords shooting. Having lived in Tucson I am finding his (Zoellner's) view of Tucson and Arizona as a whole rather interesting. I also finished a book called "Empty Cradles" (Margaret Humphreys) which is a book about the amazingly true and amazingly awful history of the U.K.'s sending children to the colonies (especially Australia), children who were supposedly orphans but 2/3's of whom were not. Many were abused or neglected in Australia. A movie about it, "Oranges and Sunshine," was released recently.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Pego » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:39 am

jeremyp wrote:I'm reading "A Safeway in Arizona" about the Gabby Giffords shooting. Having lived in Tucson I am finding his (Zoellner's) view of Tucson and Arizona as a whole rather interesting. I also finished a book called "Empty Cradles" (Margaret Humphreys) which is a book about the amazingly true and amazingly awful history of the U.K.'s sending children to the colonies (especially Australia), children who were supposedly orphans but 2/3's of whom were not. Many were abused or neglected in Australia. A movie about it, "Oranges and Sunshine," was released recently.


When did you live in Tucson? It was a world apart from now when I lived there in early seventies.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby jeremyp » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:20 am

Pego wrote:
jeremyp wrote:I'm reading "A Safeway in Arizona" about the Gabby Giffords shooting. Having lived in Tucson I am finding his (Zoellner's) view of Tucson and Arizona as a whole rather interesting. I also finished a book called "Empty Cradles" (Margaret Humphreys) which is a book about the amazingly true and amazingly awful history of the U.K.'s sending children to the colonies (especially Australia), children who were supposedly orphans but 2/3's of whom were not. Many were abused or neglected in Australia. A movie about it, "Oranges and Sunshine," was released recently.


When did you live in Tucson? It was a world apart from now when I lived there in early seventies.

I was there from 1996 to 2005. Zoellner is pretty negative about Tucson's lack of "family values" but I saw a different city: a city with a small town mentality to be sure, but quite diverse and in some ways like L.A. circa early 1900's. Liberals, right wingers, survivalists, Hispanics both legals and illegals, East Coaster retirees. A microcosm of today's growing America.
I'm further along into the book and find it deals with a number of issues I find interesting: mental illness/treatment; politics; diasaffectedness; right wing radio propaganda; and of course a history of Tucson I knew nothing about.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:21 pm

gh wrote:OK, I'm back to the hardback world, and up to my eyeballs in recrudescence.

Now in the middle of Spillover (Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic), which is all about the wonderful world of Ebola and its cousins and how they got from critters to us.

Be afraid my friends, be afraid!


OK, finally finished this sucker, and I've revised my conclusion: Be very afraid my friends, be very afraid.

As somebody with a microbiology background and huge respect for hard science, understanding zoonosis truly makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. There are things out there that by definition defy any particular control by us.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:23 pm

We're overdue, with respect to a pandemic.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:37 am

Just finished David Hackett Fischer's "Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States." The central theme of the book is extremely interesting, although it could probably have been handled in about half the total number of pages.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:44 am

Plowing through the Parker series. Almost done with number 3. Great fun, like eating potato chips.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:50 am

Conor Dary wrote:Plowing through the Parker series. Almost done with number 3. Great fun, like eating potato chips.


I've blasted through the first 16 of these and am now taking a "break" with somewhat less pulpy (and fun) reading.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby aaronk » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:04 am

I'm a mystery and relationships novel specialist, when it comes to fiction!!
None of that high-brow F. Scott Fitzgerald crap!! :)

I love "series" novelists....meaning one's who write about the same characters book after book.
Here's a list of my favorite "series", with a brief synopsis:(In no particular order!!)

Jesse Stone (Robert B Parker): He's a former LA-detective, a drunk, who becomes small town Paradise MA Police Chief, warts and all. Divorced from Jenn, who he still is hung up on. Love the "cozy" feel in these books. (Several made-for-TV movies available, with Tom Selleck as Stone. All good stuff!!)

Spenser (Robert B Parker): As with Jesse Stone, this series "ended" when Parker died. However, both are continuing with books written in Parker's style by various mystery writers. Maybe THE series to start with!!

Kinsey Millhone (Sue Grafton): As "gh" has noted, Grafton sort of hooks you in!! Her "alphabet series" is a classic, with W, X, Y, and Z to go!! For those Grafton virgins out there, Kinsey is a 30'ish Private Detective who gets involved in murder after murder. Two great parts of her books are her 90'ish neighbor and landlord, and Rosie's diner, where she often eats.

Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich): Considered more a "woman's" series, this is hilarious and highly entertaining stuff. She's a former sales clerk turned bounty hunter...and she's as competent as a......sales clerk!! She has two guys she loves, high school sweetie Joe Morello, and fellow bounty hunter, Ranger, who is as mysterious as the black clothes he always wears.
Try to count the number of cars she's lost due to fire and explosions and such!! Her Granny is a HOOT!!

Finally, author J.A. Jance has three series going.
My favorite is Sheriff Joanna Brady of Bisbee Arizona...one of Jance's two homes!!
Her husband, also a sheriff, was killed on duty, so she becomes the Sheriff, and first female, getting all the standard sexist shit thrown at her....until she slowly gains everyone's respect.
Has a precocious daughter, and gets remarried during this excellent series!!

Next is J.P. Beaumont, a boozing Seattle Homicide Detective, who becomes rich from a woman who tried to kill him (!!) in one of the best books of the series, and switches later on to a state investigator's job. Two or 3 of Jance's books COMBINE Beaumont and Brady on a case!! Some sexual tension is generated. Wish Jance would write more of those!!

Finally, the 3rd Jance character I like is Ali Reynolds, a former LA TV newscaster, who after her husband is killed, moves to small town Arizona (Bisbee again!!), and gets involved in murder after murder. Her parents run a restaurant, where she's always hanging out....and/or working!!

Other "series" authors I love are Gregory Mcdonald (Fletch and Flynn), John Sandford (Lucas Davenport), and Patricia Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta).
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:55 am

aaronk wrote:I'm a mystery and relationships novel specialist, when it comes to fiction!!
None of that high-brow F. Scott Fitzgerald crap!! :)


Good list!

I don't read all that many mysteries, but when I do, I definitely devour entire series. For whatever reason, I've been most interested in things from the 1940s-70s rather than more recent things. A few of my all-time favorites:

The Ross Macdonald "Lew Archer" books; the best of these haven't been topped by anything by anyone else.

John D. MacDonald's "Travis McGee" series (all the titles have colors in them, beginning with The Deep Blue Good-Bye);

The 10 books written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, originally published in Swedish; brilliant stuff, which holds up beautifully in translation; rather hilarious having Stockholm portrayed as a dingy, depraved moral cesspool.

My current favorite is Richard Stark's "Parker" series--24 or 25 books written between 1962 and 2008. They're a bit uneven, but the best are absolutely great.

And for those who like a little psychotic spice in their mysteries: any of the major cult "classics" by Jim Thompson. If "The Killer Inside Me" doesn't derange you just a bit, you're made of stone.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Friar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:27 pm

Two bio's:
" L.M. Alcott" (Cheever) I've been to subject's home (nice 'hood), reading bio least I could do for the transcendentalist/nurse/author.

"Le Freak" (Rogers,Nile) author tells of his David Copperfield-type youth emerging into a superstar --producer-- in the music biz. Entertaining.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby AS » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:36 pm

Daisy wrote:We're overdue, with respect to a pandemic.


Speaking of pandemics, I just finished Zone One by Colson Whitefield, a very literary addition to the zombie genre... very chilling and funny and thought provoking...
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby KDFINE » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:31 am

I just finished, while on vacation, Michael Crichton's "The Great Train Robbery." It is about the robbery of the payroll train for the English troops during the Crimean War. As an American I confess to have never learned much, if anything, about the Crimean War while in school. It was pretty good read. Now I can finally see the movie. The book gives so much background information about the war and about living conditions at the time that it could have used footnotes.
Prior to that I read "Comrades and Chicken Ranchers" by Kenneth Kann. I picked it up one Sunday while walking with my son's family in Brooklyn. Folks put books out on their stoops for anyone to take, an interesting practice, and it looked interesting. (I hate the idea of throwing books out.) Its an oral history of the Jewish chicken ranchers and radicals of Petaluma, California who migrated there in the early 20th century, and how the community evolved and devolved since then.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:01 am

Does it mention that while you can pet a dog or pet a cat you can't petaluma?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Marlow » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:01 am

gh wrote:you can't petaluma?

But you can petulance. :shock: :oops:
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby KDFINE » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:25 am

If a luma is a type of cat I'm probably allergic anyway!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:31 pm

KDFINE wrote: I picked it up one Sunday while walking with my son's family in Brooklyn. Folks put books out on their stoops for anyone to take, an interesting practice, and it looked interesting. (I hate the idea of throwing books out.) Its an oral history of the Jewish chicken ranchers and radicals of Petaluma, California who migrated there in the early 20th century, and how the community evolved and devolved since then.


In my general neighborhood that are a relatively large (30 total?) locations where people have a little 'house' with a glass door front (to protect the books) with typically 10-20 books for taking/replacing with others. First there were one or two, then five then ... not certain of the total number.


As for Petaluma, my sister has lived in Point Reyes Station for more than 30 years and her husband was a teacher at the elementary school there, then the principal, then the assistant superintendent. In the process they have gotten to know the real mix of people in that area close to San Fransisco but not so close. Unlike places along 101 it is harder to commute in to SF.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:19 am

26mi235 wrote:my sister has lived in Point Reyes Station

Have you ever been to Vladimir's Czech Restaurant? It's on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard on the west side of Tomales Bay. We often went their for food when we lived in SF. It's a little hit and miss but I do remember getting a good rabbit once. You can always skip the food and drink the draft pilsner.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:06 am

Yes, I have gone there, but not for a number of years. My sister and brother-in-law know pretty much all of the long-term families (there are not that many). There is also Mankas (spelling, or is that the name of the restaurant). Over the last 20 years or so most of my stays were family gatherings so we did not eat out.

I did study for Quals there for the last three weeks before the exams. They were building their house at the time and Jim would teach come back from teaching in the early afternoon and then we would work on the house throughout the afternoon, eat dinner and I would go back to studying. It seemed to be the perfect, low-stress preparation.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby DrJay » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:38 am

Is "The Godfather" worth reading if one has seen the entire movie two or three times and probably nine or ten times if you splice together all the partial views I've had while lazing about channel surfing, stretching on the carpet, etc?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:48 am

Just finished Alex Ross's "The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century" (2007), a remarkably detailed history of modern "classical" music. It's not a subject I am very familiar with, but I thought this account was very rich and interesting.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:01 pm

DrJay wrote:Is "The Godfather" worth reading if one has seen the entire movie two or three times and probably nine or ten times if you splice together all the partial views I've had while lazing about channel surfing, stretching on the carpet, etc?



Quite readable and entertaining. It's interesting to see how the movie differs from the book. Not a drastic difference however.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:05 pm

Churning through the third book in William Manchester's Churchill trilogy, " Defender of the Realm 1940-1965. " He did not have it quite done before his health failed, but prior to his death he worked out a deal with Paul Reid to finish it for him.

I've read every book Manchester wrote.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:08 pm

dukehjsteve wrote:I've read every book Manchester wrote.


He lived and taught very close to where I grew up, so he was probably the first "name" historian I was aware of. I remember reading "The Glory and the Dream" very intently when it first came out (ca. 1974?).

Edit: Just found this book on the shelf and was surprised to find it autographed. At some point, I guess, I met him or went to a book signing. I read this book to death--its value as a collectable is minimal.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:40 pm

Another airline flight...just finished David Byrne's "How Music Works." Very interesting overview of music and the biz, from a personal & insider's perspective. Will probably be of more interest to those who followed his great band Talking Heads in the old days...
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:20 pm

dukehjsteve wrote:Churning through the third book in William Manchester's Churchill trilogy, " Defender of the Realm 1940-1965. " He did not have it quite done before his health failed, but prior to his death he worked out a deal with Paul Reid to finish it for him.

I've read every book Manchester wrote.


Oh, this is awesome news! I've read the first two books twice, and every once in a while went looking to see if anybody else had picked up the torch for him, but I guess it has been a while since I did that. Question is, do I slog through the other two yet again first?!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby DrJay » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:18 pm

dukehjsteve wrote:
DrJay wrote:Is "The Godfather" worth reading if one has seen the entire movie two or three times and probably nine or ten times if you splice together all the partial views I've had while lazing about channel surfing, stretching on the carpet, etc?



Quite readable and entertaining. It's interesting to see how the movie differs from the book. Not a drastic difference however.


Halfway through it, enjoyable vacation read. About as easy as scratching one's bum. Fills in the movie material well.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mump boy » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:55 pm

I was given a copy of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for xmas. I'm not going to pretend it's a page turner but it a beautifully written and observed book from an african perspective which is very refreshing

I've only read the first part because Judge Judy keeps interrupting but i'll get there :D
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:27 pm

DrJay wrote:
dukehjsteve wrote:
DrJay wrote:Is "The Godfather" worth reading if one has seen the entire movie two or three times and probably nine or ten times if you splice together all the partial views I've had while lazing about channel surfing, stretching on the carpet, etc?



Quite readable and entertaining. It's interesting to see how the movie differs from the book. Not a drastic difference however.


Halfway through it, enjoyable vacation read. About as easy as scratching one's bum. Fills in the movie material well.


Sorry, I didn't catch your Q earlier; I would have said go for it. As you say, not a tough read, and a well written book (which this is) always adds some depth and breadth that the movie version can't. I remember sitting for 6-7 hours straight reading to finish it, so enraptured was I (a Sunday in September of '71 if memory serves).
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:32 pm

mump boy wrote:I was given a copy of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for xmas. I'm not going to pretend it's a page turner but it a beautifully written and observed book from an african perspective which is very refreshing

I've only read the first part because Judge Judy keeps interrupting but i'll get there :D


You have reminded me of this fine novel.

http://www.amazon.com/Palm-Wine-Drinkar ... e+drinkard

I've had fresh palm wine. It is very good.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:19 pm

On 19 Jun 2011, mump boy wrote:I'm on Game Of Thrones which is amazing and just bought the next 2 more to come. This could take a while :D

I got sucked into this series. I'm not sure if I really like the way he crafts the story but his characters are what keeps me riveted.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mump boy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:33 am

Daisy wrote:
On 19 Jun 2011, mump boy wrote:I'm on Game Of Thrones which is amazing and just bought the next 2 more to come. This could take a while :D

I got sucked into this series. I'm not sure if I really like the way he crafts the story but his characters are what keeps me riveted.


There's WAY too much info, people keep going on a journey and you don't come back to them for 2 books !! i wish he's just get on with it :?

I couldn't put them down but they do become a bit tiresome in the end
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